All new vehicles registered in Britain between 01st March and 31st August will have the new “13” registration number plate. But will the fear of the unlucky number 13 put people off buying a new car during this period? If so, 13 could prove to be very unlucky for the British motor trade.
Carbuzz.co.uk recently asked just over 2,000 car buyers whether the 13 registration plate would put them off buying a new car between March – August 2013.
The results transpired that 10% of people questioned said that it would put them off because they were indeed superstitious of this unlucky number. (Triskaidekaphobia is the fear of the number 13.)
A further 17% of the people questioned were worried a 13 plate could damage the resale value of the car when it came to sell their vehicle which proves that non-superstitious people are also anxious about a drop in resale value.
This means a total of 27.1% people said they were put off buying a car with the 13 plate which could indeed be damaging to the British car dealer trade.
The results mean that a reasonably positive 73% of those undertaking the questionnaire said it wouldn’t put them off buying a vehicle during this period at all.
Even so, the results show that over a quarter of potential new car sales that could be affected between March and August 2013, all due to a couple of wrong numbers.
There was some speculation the DVLA would allow the industry to skip the ‘unlucky’ 13 plate altogether and run a continuation of the 62-plate and then move straight to the 62 plate.
Carbuzz contacted the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) for a comment. The DVLA spokesperson commented:
“There are no plans to move away from this series as there are no good reasons for doing so.
“We recognise that some manufacturers are concerned that superstitious motorists may be wary of buying a new car with the number 13, but any change to the current registration system would be costly to the taxpayer and we cannot justify skipping a number because of superstition.”
James Hind, of carbuzz.co.uk, said “The 13 plate applies to cars registered from 1st March to the 31st August 2013. In 2012 this period accounted for 52% of total registrations. These findings show that the car industry should expect to see a large decline in new car sales for 2013, many consumers will either delay buying a new car or choose a used car instead”.
Alternatively, a spokesperson for CAP who are experts in the automotive industry said:
“The key thing to remember is that customers make the decision to buy the car first and what appears on the plate is an afterthought. For this reason we believe retail sales are not likely to be affected in any significant way – either this month for new cars, or in the future for used cars.
“There will also undoubtedly be a few people who will see that the numbers ‘1′ and ‘3′ can be spaced to make the plate appear to read as a ‘B’ even though altering the spacing of letters and numbers is illegal. But in our view, this is more of a quirky story than a significant issue for motor dealers or other automotive operators. We therefore believe that the value of a 13 plate car will not be adversely affected in the future. We will of course monitor the performance of 13 plate cars in the market over the coming months and will report on our findings should evidence emerge to the contrary.”